Ears that are very large, misshapen or protrude from the sides of the head can be improved with otoplasty surgery (ear surgery), thus creating a more pleasing and natural appearance. Otoplasty can be performed at almost any age, but is most typically performed during childhood through early adolescence.
The ears must be fully developed prior to surgical correction or alteration, and this typically occurs by 5 to 6 years of age. Many high school or college age people, as well as adults, elect to have otoplasty in cases which may have not been corrected as children.
An otoplasty will correct the appearance of the ears in about three hours.
Otoplasty surgery takes between two to three hours, and is performed as a same-day procedure. It does require anesthesia for the procedure to be done in as comfortable a setting as possible. Various techniques are utilized during otoplasty surgery, but the most common ones involve correcting the prominent ear.
Dr. Glatt will take his time, making sure that your surgery is performed skillfully and safely.
A small incision is first made on the back surface of the ear to expose the cartilage so that it can be re-sculpted into the desired shape and position. Permanent sutures are then used to fold the cartilage into the desired contours and, if needed, to set back the ear closer to the head. A small piece of cartilage may also need to be removed to help create a more natural looking fold. In some cases, the earlobe also must be addressed by setting it back in line with the ear, utilizing small sutures as well.
Dr. Glatt takes an extremely individualized approach to otoplasty surgery as no two ears and no two patients are exactly the same! The techniques used can vary and are highly dependent upon each patient’s individual needs and desired outcome. Typically, the procedure will leave a scar in the back of the ear, which will fade over time and become inconspicuous in appearance since its location is hidden.
Before and After Photos
Please feel free to call our office if you develop any new questions or concerns during your recovery.
Postoperatively, patients will be placed in a head dressing for one to two days, which will be changed to a lighter, less cumbersome headband which is worn over the ears at all times for one week and then used at night only for several weeks. There is very little discomfort associated with otoplasty surgery and this is easily controlled with medications for a short period of time as needed.
Otoplasty surgery (ear surgery) creates a more balanced and natural appearance of the ears and can have a profound impact on both patients’ appearances as well as their self-esteem. To discuss otoplasty surgery for yourself or your child, contact the office of Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Brian S. Glatt, MD, FACS.